We think of ergonomics as the science of setting up a room so that it requires minimal energy expenditure to navigate comfortably and effectively. However, visual ergonomics aren’t as widely embraced. Here’s how you can make your workspace healthier for your eyes. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
Your workspace has a significant effect on your visual health.
If you spend hours every day staring at a digital screen, surrounded by LED lights, and sitting in a cramped office chair, your vision could be suffering. While we often think of ergonomic design as a solution designed to preserve the health of our musculoskeletal system, ergonomic eye design can help keep our vision clear and healthy.
With many workplaces still requiring their office workforce to work remotely, it can be difficult for workers unused to working from home to create a workstation that is optimal for visual health. However, here are a few strategies for creating a visually ergonomic environment.
- Get the right lighting. Sufficient comfortable light will help you to avoid or significantly reduce the eyestrain that can accompany working in front of a computer screen. When the surrounding light is darker than the computer screen, eyes become more vulnerable to strain.
- Block harmful blue light. The blue light from LED lighting, smartphones, computer screens, and TV screens can trigger headaches and visual blurriness, among other symptoms. Blue-blocking glasses can help mitigate the side effects of consistent blue light exposure.
- Make sure your computer screen is approximately 25 inches from your face. Computer screen placement is very important for visual comfort. If you’re working from a desktop monitor, the screen should be positioned roughly 25 inches you’re your face – too close and the exposure is uncomfortable; too far and your eyes may be overworked from the distance. Also, for the most comfortable gaze, the center of the computer screen should be at a 15° angle from your eyes.
- Adjust the size of the zoom. Make sure the text on the screen is large enough to view comfortably if 25 inches from the screen makes reading difficult.
- Subdue the glare. Glare from computer screens can strain the eyes, trigger headaches, and dry, itchy eyes. A matte computer screen can help reduce glare, as can eyewear with anti-reflective coating.
- Take periodic breaks. Staring at computer screens for numerous uninterrupted hours isn’t natural. Approximately every 20 minutes, take a break from the screen, and get up and walk around for 30 seconds. This helps prevent symptoms of continued screen exposure and facilitates lower body circulation.
- Keep eyedrops handy. Eye lubricating drops can help prevent the symptoms of dry eye that result from staring at a computer screen.
Visiting an optometrist periodically to check your overall eye health is the best advice for keeping your eyes in good condition. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, make an appointment with an eye doctor immediately.
OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been awarded the distinction of being named one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.